Naturally, we often focus a lot of our attention on what we can do within the confines of work to be better at our jobs.
But recent research out of San Francisco State University shows that we may be better employees if we use our time outside of work wisely, as well.
After conducting studies on employees who self-rated or were rated by coworkers on job performance, the researchers concluded that people with creative hobbies outside of work feel more relaxed and in control in their off hours and are more likely to be helpful to coworkers and creative in their approach solving work problems than those without these hobbies.
One study found that employees who reported engaging fairly often in creative hobbies also had a 15% to 30% edge on occasional hobbyists when it came to performance rankings.
The researchers say it’s possible that having a creative outlet could provide an opportunity to discover new skills, which could also be helpful in the workplace. They suggested that companies could even benefit from encouraging their employees to consider creative activities outside of work.
Based on Arthur Koestler’s seminal work, “The Act Of Creation,” creative hobbies involve the exploration of new cognitive pathways and the connection of previously unrelated thoughts. Many activities have the potential for being creative and could include:
While some cooks stick entirely to the recipe, others bring together various recipes and methods to construct their masterpieces.
The researchers noted that writing poetry likely results in the improvement of one's ability to articulate thoughts, and a skill that may spill over into the workplace.
Many baking enthusiasts will tell you that baking has a calming influence, and recovering from the stresses of work is crucial to returning ready to tackle the day.
Song writers could describe the demands or strain experienced during work, which is a a cathartic release of work strain, the researchers noted.
According to the researchers, some people, like photographers for instance, may engage in creative activities that are similar to their experiences at work because of the shared knowledge, skills, and abilities.
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